Tonight, Jeff worked with Nicole Dunn, who is playing the roles of El Diablo, Vern, and Emanuel, and they worked on characterizations. Obviously there is gender bending in Turtles. Not only Nicole, but Mal Malme and Elle Borders all play male roles, and the problem becomes how do women depict men without it becoming drag?
I wrote the play this way because I wanted to give women the chance to play men in their lives, and I was curious to explore what they would do with the roles theatrically, and also how audiences would react to the results.
A lot of tonight's conversations revolved around what kind of men Nicole's parts were, their situation in life and how it influenced who they were. Jeff is steeped in a lot of disciplines including movement, and a lot of what he and Nicole discussed were how each character moved, walked, and even stood still. It's easy to lapse into caricature or stereotypes; think about the stereotypical man who talks gruffly and swaggers around, and you understand that that was exactly what we were trying to avoid.
The following pictures show Jeff and Nicole talking, and the final picture is her playing El Diablo. What do you think?